Monday, July 28, 2014

5 star review: The Winter King

Book description:

After three long years of war, starkly handsome, Wynter Atrialan, will have his vengeance on Summerlea’s king by taking one of the man’s beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter’s battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother’s death, rages on.
Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father’s palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig’s icy king is supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom—and her first taste of overwhelming passion.
As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin’s wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter’s passion—she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.


This book truly captivated me from the beginning to the end, finished in one afternoon because I simply could not stop reading until I learned the fate of Wynter and Khamsin. Even when I was doing my normal daily activities, mom stuff and whatnot I was thinking about what might happen in the book, so I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish and it was well worth the missing out on some shut-eye. This is a beautiful story of trust and love, a fiery romance that surprised me with its intensity.

Khamsin begins as a sort of Cinderella type character, the despised daughter of a ruthless and unloving King, locked away in the farthest part of the castle so she remains out of sight, forever to watch her three sisters (the Seasons) and brother live a life she'll never know. Despite that upbringing, Khamsin refuses to be broken, by becoming a loyal, fierce, brave, passionate, and incredibly kind woman instead. All of the Summerlea princesses are gifted with power and Khamsin is known as Storm to her family because she is a weatherwitch. She's never really learned how to control her abilities so they remain a reflection of her mood. What I loved about her was that she refused to be defined by her past, and that she never turned away from the connection she shared with Wynter, grabbing instead for the possibility for love. Her emotions and complexity were never predictable, making her strong in the face of great challenge.

Wynter was also shaped by a horrible tragedy, first when his parents were killed by a Frost Giant, and then later, when his younger brother was slain by the traitorous Summerlea Prince. He swore revenge and has gone to great lengths to attain his goal, using the Ice Heart to slay his enemies despite the cost to himself. When he takes a Summerlea Princess for his Queen he doesn't think of love or passion, she is a means to an end, nothing more, but their spirits call to each other in a way he cannot deny. Wynter could easily let the Ice Heart consume him and dull his humanity so that he wouldn't feel the emotions Khamsin brings out in him, but he doesn't because he is the noble Prince little girls dream of...protective, kind, strong, compassionate, willing to listen. He faces change like he faces everything else, head on, bold and unafraid. Wynter is the perfect match for Khamsin.

5 stars! I've read a few of C.L. Wilson's previous titles and always enjoyed the books, but The Winter King is the book that has made her a must-have author for me so I'm adding her to my keep list, for sure. Even if romantic fantasy isn't your usual genre I highly recommend giving this a try.


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